Forget the potpourri or candles; when you want to fill your home with the amazing scent of Christmas, this Christmas Simmer Pot is the way to go! It is so easy to make and has a delightful holiday smell that lasts for hours. You can put it on the stove and let the amazing aroma fill your house with cheer!

cranberries, orange, citrus

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What’s a simmer pot?

A simmer pot is literally a simmering pot of liquid that bubbles away slowly releasing a great aroma into the kitchen and throughout the house. A Christmas simmer pot is filled with citrus, rosemary, cloves, cinnamon, and more – all the flavors of the holidays! As it bubbles, the scent slowly releases and smells amazing!

There’s nothing more welcoming than a simmer pot bubbling slowly on the stove. I love doing simmer pots when we have family or friends over during the holidays. Everyone always wants to know what smells so fabulous!

a Dutch oven with Christmas Simmer Pot

Why I love this recipe

  • The smell is amazing and you can keep topping it up with water to keep it smelling great for hours!
  • You don’t need any fancy ingredients; you can mix and match what you have on hand.
  • You can cut the ingredients in half if you only have a small pot or make a bigger batch in a larger pot.

ingredients to make Christmas Simmer Pot

Gather these ingredients

  • Oranges – Slice one orange and remove the peel from the 2nd.
  • Lemon – Sliced.
  • Fresh rosemary – About 5 sprigs.
  • Fresh evergreen – From a pine tree or even your Christmas tree!
  • Cranberries – Fresh or frozen.
  • Whole cloves
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Water: you can also use Apple Cider, but not for drinking

orange peel in Christmas Simmer Pot

How to make a Christmas Simmer Pot

  1. Add all the ingredients, except for the water, to a large saucepan on the stovetop.
  2. Pour water into the saucepan, just enough to cover the ingredients. Set the pot to boil, then reduce the heat to a bare simmer.
  3. Simmer for as long as desired, topping up the water every 30 minutes or as needed to keep the ingredients covered.
  4. Enjoy the holiday scents!

Dutch oven full of fruit, greenery, cinnamon

Tips & substitutions

  • No fresh pine? Don’t worry – it’s not an essential part of your simmer pot.
  • Don’t eat or drink the liquid or solids from the post. They won’t be very good after simmering for hours and hours.
  • Watch children around the stove, and don’t leave your simmer pot unattended for too long. 
  • Pop a lid on your simmer pot when not in use. It’ll keep smelling great for a few days!

fresh cranberries, cinnamon, orange, cloves

When to use a simmer pot

Lacing the air with a warm, citrusy, spicy, and holiday scent, I use my simmer pots frequently throughout the holidays, from Thanksgiving on! I love setting out a simmer pot when having friends over for dinner or just drinks. I love setting out appetizers like snacking boards or some tasty finger foods while we sit back and relax and catch up and sip on pear cider.

good smeling Christmas pot pourri


Kept topped off with water, your simmer pot will keep for 2-3 days. Pop a lid on it when not in use. 

Christmas pot pourri

Check out these awesome holiday recipes while you’re here

good smeling Christmas pot pourri
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Christmas Simmer Pot

Fill your home with the scents of the season with an easy DIY Christmas Simmer Pot! Loaded with festive ingredients, it lasts for days!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 5 hours 5 minutes
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  • 2 oranges, one sliced, one remove the peel
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 5 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Fresh evergreen – an optional ingredient. If you have a fresh Christmas tree in your home, you could use some clippings from that tree or an outdoor one
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • Water, or apple juice or apple cider to cover pot


  • 1 Dutch Oven Pot


  • Add all ingredients to a saucepan on the stove top.
  • Pour water into the saucepan - just enough to cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer.
  • Set to simmer over low heat. You'll start noticing a scent within about 15 minutes. Simmer as long as desired, and
  • topping up with water every 30 minutes as needed to cover ingredients.
  • Enjoy the holiday scent!
  • Use your simmer pot for up to 2-3 days just by continuing to add water.
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Christmas Simmer Pot